The Mystery of Hollow Places is a quiet YA mystery. By that I mean the plot kind of just plods along as its own pace, without any huge reveals or exciting scenes. There was nothing thrilling about it, and while I did keep reading to find out what happened to Imogene’s father, who goes missing in the beginning, it’s an easy book to put down and forget about.
I didn’t connect with the main character at all, mostly because I found her very cynical and dark. Some people might like that, and sometimes I do, but in this case it just didn’t work for me. Imogene just wasn’t someone that I enjoyed reading about, although I did sympathise because both her parents left her. Sad times.
Having never suffered intense depression nor bipolar disorder, I can’t really comment on how this book portrays those mental illnesses. Imogene’s mother was severely depressed, and she ran off and left her daughter and partner behind. The Mystery of Hollow Places follows Imogene as she tries to find her father, who leaves her at the beginning of the book, and as a result she finds out more about her mother and her past.
I wasn’t engrossed in the mystery at all, to be honest. I think I had a problem connecting to Podos’ writing style, which just didn’t work for me in terms of pulling me in and keeping me interested. The author’s writing was good enough, but it was nothing outstanding and I wasn’t blown away by it.
Overall, this is a very flat debut that had such promise. I wish I was able to connect with Imogene more, but her voice along with her treatment of other people was such a let down that I just couldn’t.